LDC loses Shs1.3b case to landlord

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By ANTHONY WESAKA

KAMPALA. The Law Development Centre (LDC) has lost its bid in which it had sought to recover over Shs1.3b from businessman and former land lord, which money was attached from the institution’s Stanbic bank account.

While rejecting LDC’s bid to set aside the earlier court orders, Justice Patricia Basaza Wasswa of the Kampala High Court, in her ruling dated March 7, ordered LDC to instead recover its money from government and not from Mr Daniel Sserufusa Wasswa, formerly the owner of LDC land.

This, the judge reasoned that the government was a joint defendant in the main suit and even accepted to indemnify the institution in case of any compensation for the land lord.

“…LDC’s recourse should be securing reimbursement from government pursuant to government’s liability to pay as adjudged by court and pursuant to the attorney general’s said letter of August 3rd, 2017 to the finance minister,” ruled justice Basaza.

Justice Basaza continued: ” In my view, that is the very essence of the 3rd party proceedings under orders 1 Rule 14 (1) & 15 (b) of the Civil Procedure Rules. Government as 3rd party, upon being served with a 3rd party notice, became a party to the main suit against LDC which was the defendant in the counter claim. LDC is as such entitled to be indemnified by government as 3rd party.”

Justice Basaza also in her ruling, declined to fault the lawyers of Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA), a law firm which represented Mr Sserufusa and over saw the attachment of LDC’s accounts held in Stanbic bank in a bid to pay their client over Shs1.3b.

Subsequently, court went on to award KAA costs of the suit.

LDC woes started in 2003 when it filed a civil suit against Mr Sserufusa, seeking for declarations that it’s the rightful owner of the land comprised in Block 9 plot 222 Makerere.

The same land according to LDC was acquired for them by government under the Land Acquisition (Makerere) Instrument, 1987.

But Sserufusa filed his defence to the suit and also filed a counter-suit seeking for compensation since he claimed ownership of the LDC land.

LDC through an application, asked court to include the Attorney General, the chief government legal advisor for purposes of indemnifying them in case there was an order to compensate the other party.

Court ruled against LDC, meaning the Attorney General was allowed to indemnify the institution.

Although a 3rd party notice was issued and served to the Attorney General, his office never filed a defence and as a result, court entered a default judgment against government.

Court in its final judgment, awarded compensation to Mr Sserufusa under various government entities and clearly stated that he surrenders the title to the Chief registrar of land titles for cancellation upon government paying the compensation.

However, LDC contended that final judgment was delivered in the absence of its lawyers and applied that it is set aside, which court rejected last week.

To that effect, Justice Basaza in her ruling last week, observed that Mr Sserufusa is entitled to compensation for his land and that litigation should come to an end.

“In any event, equality demands that Mr Sserufusa, who for so many years, contrary to the Articles 26 & 44 of the 1995 Constitution, was deprived of his property or compensation for its fair value, should not be unjustly vexed by unwarranted suits. Litigation must come to an end,” ruled Justice Basaza.

When contacted yesterday, Mr Hamis Lukyamuzi, the spokesperson of LDC, told Daily Monitor that they are going to appeal the decision of Justice Basaza since they are aggrieved.

Monitor.co.ug

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